Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Want a flattering figure? Don't forget your frame

Chances are, you have spent some time checking yourself out in the mirror. It's okay-we've all done it. But toned arms and a smaller waistline aren't the only contributing factors for a fabulous figure.

Want a flattering figure? Don't forget your frame


Chances are, you have spent some time checking yourself out in the mirror. It’s okay—we’ve all done it. After months of activity and exercise, it’s very satisfying to see definition in your muscles, or that goal weight on your scale. But toned arms and a smaller waistline aren’t the only contributing factors for a fabulous figure. You can’t ignore the frame your kickin’ bod is built on: your bones.

After age 30, we slowly start to lose bone mass. In fact, one in two women—that’s 50 percent, people—will be diagnosed with osteoporosis and be at high risk for fracture in their lifetime. But it’s not just fracture you have to worry about. Thinning of the bones leads to the slouched posture that sometimes comes with age.

But the good news is there are many things we can do to preserve our bone health for the future to ensure we have a sturdy frame to carry us through life and keep us active well into our golden years.

  • Get going. Weight bearing aerobic exercise will help you maintain bone density throughout your lifetime. Certain exercises, such as walking, running, aerobic exercise classes or stair climbing will stimulate more bone growth than other types of exercises, such as biking or swimming.
  • Get your pump on. Weight lifting causes muscles to pull on our bones, which also stimulates bone density. Some of the most important muscles to strengthen are buttocks and thigh muscles to support the hips, and back and shoulder muscles to support the spine and promote good posture. Strengthening exercises in weight-bearing positions are best—think squats, lunges and push-ups. And ladies, remember—weight lifting isn’t just for men.
  • Ensure good posture. Now, I’m not saying this is easy—we fight the weight of gravity all day, pushing our head and shoulders forward. Try this: take a look in the mirror at your side profile. Your ear, shoulder and the side of your hip should all line up. Try to keep yourself in this alignment most of the day—and if you have a desk job, be sure to get up every 30 minutes or so to stretch.
  • Be flexible. You might not think about flexibility as important to maintaining bone health, but think again! Flexibility in the front of the chest and spine helps you keep your posture upright—and I think I’ve drilled home how important that is.
  • Drink your milk! Maintaining a healthy diet of foods rich in calcium and vitamin D will help keep your frame strong. Talk to your doctor about calcium and vitamin D supplements if you feel your diet is insufficient.
  • Kick butts… and soda. As if you needed another reason to kick your nicotine habit, smoking has been shown to lead to bone loss. The other bad news? So do caffeinated beverages. Try to cut back on the coffee and soda to keep your frame solid.

The earlier you implement these lifestyle changes to counteract bone loss, the better—but it’s never too late to start.

More coverage
Is sitting the new smoking?
The six elements of physical fitness
Want a flattering figure? Don't forget your frame
Knee pain: What are your options?

If you’re concerned about osteoporosis, the Osteoporosis Clinic at Magee Rehabilitation’s Riverfront Wellness Center offers free screenings on the first Friday of every month from 1 – 4 p.m. The test only takes a few minutes and can aid your doctors in the diagnosis of osteoporosis. To schedule your appointment, call (215) 218-3900.

Julie Coté, PT, MPT, OCS, COMT Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
About this blog

Whether you are a weekend warrior, an aging baby boomer, a student athlete or just someone who wants to stay active, this blog is for you. Read about our growing list of expert contributors here.

J. Ryan Bair, PT, DPT, SCS Founder and Owner of FLASH Sports Physical Therapy, Board Certified in Sports Physical Therapy
Brian Cammarota, MEd, ATC, CSCS, CES Partner at Symetrix Sports Performance
Ellen Casey, MD Physician with Drexel University Sports Medicine
Desirea D. Caucci, PT, DPT, OCS Co-owner of Conshohocken Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Michael G. Ciccotti, M.D. Head Team Physician for Phillies & St. Joe's; Rothman Institute
Julie Coté, PT, MPT, OCS, COMT Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
Peter F. DeLuca, M.D. Head Team Physician for Eagles, Head Orthopedic Surgeon for Flyers; Rothman Institute
Joel H. Fish, Ph.D. Director of The Center For Sport Psychology; Sports Psychology Consultant for 76ers & Flyers
R. Robert Franks, D.O. Team Physician for USA Wrestling, Consultant for Phillies; Rothman Institute
Ashley B. Greenblatt, ACE-CPT Certified Personal Trainer, The Sporting Club at The Bellevue
Eugene Hong, MD, CAQSM, FAAFP Team Physician for Drexel, Philadelphia Univ., Saint Joe’s, & U.S. National Women’s Lacrosse
Julia Mayberry, M.D. Attending Hand & Upper Extremity Surgeon, Main Line Hand Surgery P.C.
Jim McCrossin, ATC Strength and Conditioning Coach, Flyers and Phantoms
Gavin McKay, NASM-CPT Founder/Franchisor, Unite Fitness
Kevin Miller Fitness Coach, Philadelphia Union
Heather Moore, PT, DPT, CKTP Owner of Total Performance Physical Therapy, North Wales and Hatfield, PA
Kelly O'Shea Senior Health Producer,
Tracey Romero Sports Medicine Editor,
David Rubenstein, M.D. Team Orthopedist for 76ers; Main Line Health Lankenau Medical Center
Robert Senior Event coverage, Sports Doc contributor
Justin Shaginaw, MPT, ATC Athletic Trainer for US Soccer Federation; Aria 3B Orthopaedic Institute
Thomas Trojian MD, CAQSM, FACSM Associate Chief of the Division of Sports Medicine at Drexel University
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